This week at Doodlebug Club, the weekly preschool art class I teach at the museum, our activities were all about apples. We painted apples, read about apples, and played games with apples. All four little Doodlebug boys had a great time!
We started class today by painting apple shapes, which included stems and leaves. Each artist chose their own colors, and we talked about what color apples taste best. Blue apples were someone’s favorite—and they come from a special tree with blue leaves. There seemed to be a recurring blue theme for this little dude.
Here’s what you need for painting apples:
- An apple cutout on thick white paper – I Googled “apple outline” and copied an image, stretched it to fit a normal sheet of paper, printed it, then used it for a template. Light corn syrup
- Washable paint: red, green, brown, yellow, orange
- Paintbrush and cup for holding paint, or cotton balls, whichever is easier for your artist to grasp
- Stem and leaf shapes cut from the same thick white paper
Everyone painted their own apples, with a little bit of help, and because preschoolers like to use LOTS of paint, we dried the apples with a hairdryer, one at a time, which they thought was great (for about a minute and a half!)
While the apple paintings continued to dry, we read Theodore LeSieg’s Ten Apples Up on Top, a silly Dr. Seuss-esque book about a dog, a lion, and a tiger who compete with each other doing various things while stacking ever more apples on top of their heads. At one point, it’s the tiger walking on a telephone wire, balancing with his tail, with seven apples on top of his head. It’s a good counting book – with each turn of the page, we counted the apples on top of heads. It’s a pretty funny book – and inexplicably, a bear (of course: lions and tigers and bears, oh my!) decides that the whole apples-on-heads thing is not fun for everyone and must be stopped immediately. So he or she attacks with a mop (perhaps because it rhymes with “stop”?!), then some birds swoop in and try to snatch their apples from above. What a hullabaloo! All three creatures inevitably peddle their umbrella-d bicycle, 30 apples on top at this point, into a large apple-carrying dump truck. All goes well in the end, it seems, when there are apples for the tops of everyone’s heads. So it’s a book about sharing. Or applesauce. I’m not sure. But it went well with a little game that we played using some apple-shaped bean (actually I used rice) bags.
The inspiration from the apple bean (rice) bags came from a project I saw on Pinterest a while ago. I used red felt cut in circles for the apples, a small brown felt rectangle for the stem, and a green felt leaf. Using my new handy-dandy sewing machine, I churned out ten of these in no time. Our game was simple: we stacked our apple bean(rice) bags on top of our own heads and tried to see how many we could stack before they fell! I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any pictures of this, as I was the actual apple-stacker, but it was funny watching these giggly, squirrely boys try to figure out how to keep their heads still and level so the apples wouldn’t fall off. Two of them were quite persistent and managed to stack four on top, but when they turned their heads to show off their stack of apples, they fell. Their giggling, when this happened, was infectious.
We also played an (underhand!!) apple bean bag toss game that was quite a success. It too was simple – I set a boundary line for them to stand behind and toss apples into a basket about 8 feet away. I’ll bet these apples make an appearance again.
After the games, we glued the painted and mostly dry stems and leaves on the mostly dry apples. Glue sticks and preschoolers are tricky friends, I learned long ago! Then we hung them up to finish drying and to show everyone what we accomplished in class. Here are a few of these apple-y masterpieces:
The middle apple, I was told by Mr. Why (of last week), is a chocolate apple. Either that, or it fell off the tree and rolled in the mud. He wasn’t sure, so we would have to taste it to see which one it is. How cute is that kid?!
None of these kids had ever been apple-picking! I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to propose a field trip right then and there since we’re smack in the middle of apple season, but since I don’t have that many car seats, I guess I’ll leave it up to their parents and I’ll wait to take our own little doodlebug.
What is Doodlebug Club?
I work at an art and history museum, and one of the best parts of my job is working with kids. I teach a weekly preschool art class called Doodlebug Club, where I get to try out all sorts of ideas that will become some of the fun things that we will do with our Littlest Brooks-Livingston. I’ve never had any real art training, but I think it’s a lot of fun, and to me, it’s very important to make art more approachable than it ever seemed when I was a kid.If you’d like to read about more of the projects we’ve done in Doodlebug Club, click here. Check out my Doodlebug Club Pinterest board here.